Some heroes have the misfortune of ending up in a strange place: maybe in the past, or in a world [[UnPerson where they never existed]] or (if they're really unlucky) a world where they're a completely different person (and their best friend hates their guts, while the villains have them under their thumb). From the narrative's point of view, TheHero's predicament is usually important to ''them'', but mean a lot less in the bigger picture. Luckily, people who are [[TimeTravel thrown back in time]] or TrappedInAnotherWorld will find a member of the TimePolice, another traveler (with more experience) or even a ''god'' who'll help them get safely home.

These can be authority figures it can be justified: the ruler of a country still has some responsibility to all their subjects and the police are supposed to serve the public, why should the ruler of a multiverse or the TimePolice be any different?. They can be heroes: a good hero will always help the needy, time travelers should be no exception. Gods or [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien other higher beings]] may be working InMysteriousWays or have some hidden agenda. The helper in question might not actually be that more powerful than the protagonist, but have a job dealing with much more important problems.

Places the protagonist could end up with this sort of help in can include;
* A BadFuture (typically from being pushed forward in time).
* [[TimeTravel The Past]]
* [[FreakyFridayFlip Someone else's life]]
* AnotherDimension
* [[FishOutOfWater Somewhere that's simply a very long way from where they live.]]

As long as the protagonist is stranded and someone with enough know-how to help turns up it's this trope.

This can often be a type of BigGood. If TimeTravel is involved you can expect them to be a member of the TimePolice. This sort of character may overlap with MrExposition. Contrast OrpheanRescue, when the hero fulfills this role for someone else.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' Sailor Pluto is the Soldier of Space-Time and is described as "a goddess, eternally guarding the Portal of Space and Time". Chibi-usa finds her at the gates of time while attempting to go back to the future. Subverted at first, considering she has specific orders NOT to open the gates, [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight but she helps anyway]].
* Played with in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' when the goddess Othinus decides to deal with Touma Kamijou, the only person who was the potential to stop her. She sends him tumbling through the multiverse, going through several worlds hostile and alien to him, including a world where he's Public Enemy #1, a world where someone else is in his place, and a world where he never existed. She explains that she intends to break his will by showing how insignificant he is in the universe, but he lampshades how she never abandons him and takes time to explain the situation in each world, when all she had to do to get rid of him is to abandon him. Eventually, she comes to care for him, pulls a HeelFaceTurn, and returns them to the original world. The Will of the Misaka Network, who has RippleEffectProofMemory, also gives Touma some advice and encouragement.

[[folder: Fan Fic ]]
* In ''FanFic/MyImmortal'', Ebony briefly ends up trapped in the past until [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Marty McFly]] turns up to rescue her.
* In ''Fanfic/TwistOfFate'', Kuroko and Awaki get trapped in a world where Touma Kamijou was never born, resulting in a CrapsackWorld since he wasn't around to save everybody. A time traveler named Moses arrives and helps them get back, though it takes a lot of work.

[[folder: Film ]]
* Rufus gave ''Film/BillAndTed'' the time machine, showed them how to use it, and tended to turn up for advice when the boys found themselves in trouble. He was from the future of prosperity, peace, and excellence that they ushered in, and had a vested interest in helping them because without them his future would not exist.
* The guy in ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'' who fixes the hot tub and acts like he knows about time travel. However, he doesn't ''tell'' them about the time travel.
* ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}'' had the TV Repairman, who instigated the TrappedInTVLand plot, and then ineffectually tried to stop the fallout from it.
%%* ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Lu-Tze helps Sam Vimes after he's sent back in time (even as much as telling the other Time Monks he just feels like helping him out) even though they're pretty busy fixing the world's {{Continuity Snarl}}s. It's strongly implied that Vimes was sent back in the first place because he was over [[AlienGeometries the Library]] when [[Discworld/ThiefOfTime the Glass Clock broke reality]], so Lu-Tze feels somewhat responsible.
* In ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', the living poet Dante is given a free pass through the fires of Hell and Purgatory to report on what he sees there, and is given the soul of Roman poet and satirist Virgil (a man damned because he had the misfortune to live and die before the mission of Christ), as his tour guide.
* The Three Bald Doctors in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Insomnia}}''. Two of them, Clothos and Lachesis, were benevolent; the third, Atropos, was decidedly not.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', when [[DrJerk Jayfeather]] is trapped in the past with the Ancients, the mysterious cat [[AllPowerfulBystander Rock]] shows up to take him back to his time period. [[spoiler:This happens twice.]]
* In the ''Literature/TimeScout'' series, getting stuck in the past (downtime) isn't common, because it's an industry and everyone involved is very, very careful. However, it does happen occasionally, and when it does, the best are sent after them. The best being, basically, Indiana Jones, only with a much better ability to blend in. Time scouts and guides are trained to be invisible anywhen they go.
%%* ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''
* The Guild of Temporal Adventurers plays this role in some of Creator/MichaelMoorcock's stories.

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor does this occasionally. He travels through time and space in the TARDIS dealing with various disasters of all sorts though.
* In the ''Series/EerieIndiana'' episode "The Lost Hour" an old Milkman saves Marshall from [[TimePolice the Garbage Men]] in an empty, alternate dimension of Eerie. [[spoiler: The milkman implies that he's an older version of Marshall.]]
* When ''Series/LoisAndClark'' started having story arcs involving time travel and alternate universes, none other than H.G. Wells himself arrives to advise the heroes.
** An episode involving virtual reality has Jimmy Olsen advise Superman on how to catch the bad guys in the virtual world.
* In ''Series/QuantumLeap'' it was implied that [[MysteriousBacker some conscious force]] (possibly even God) was guiding Sam' jumps to ensure that he did the most good. This was a {{deconstruction}} since this mysterious guide was [[UnknownCharacter never actually seen or had a voice]] (although they met someone who ''might'' have been them). It only made itself known by directing events like an actual deity would and, of course, when it did more or less directly interact with the main character, it was a total MindScrew.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. In "Future's End" ''Voyager'' finally gets back to Earth after falling through a space-time rift, but in 1996. At the end of the episode a member of Starfleet from the future appears to send them back to the correct timeline (they get a bit worried at first, since the entire thing had started with the same future Starfleet member showing up and trying to destroy ''Voyager''). Subverted when Captain Janeway asks if they can return to the correct time, but stay on Earth. Citing the Temporal PrimeDirective he has to refuse, and they're [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption sent back to the Delta Quadrant on the other side of the galaxy]].
* In the short "A Matter of Minutes" from ''Series/TheTwilightZone1985'', the foreman of a group of people (played by Adolph Caesar) takes time to explain to a couple who ended up 'outside time' how time really worked, even showing them an animated computer graphic prepared for such an event.

[[folder: Video Game ]]
* Rachel Alucard from ''Videogame/BlazBlue'' helps [[spoiler: Makoto get back to the "main" timeline (after being trapped in one of the many timelines where Noel never existed)]] in Story Mode. Her reason for doing this apparently being that [[spoiler: Makoto]] has "moxie".
* When the group in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' first winds up at the End of Time, an old man there [[spoiler:actually the guru Gaspar]] gives a basic explanation of the time travel system and latter keeps track of what you are supposed to do. Conveniently, this is the first time the party has a chance to time travel freely, rather than being pushed into the gates by outside events.
* A TimeTravel focused ''[[VideoGame/WhereInTimeIsCarmenSandiego1997 Carmen Sandiego]]'' game had these.
* Teddie is set up to fill this role in ''Videogame/{{Persona 4}}'' but he's just as clueless as everyone else as to what's going on. Still, he does lead the group to the people inside the TV until [[spoiler:Rise]] takes over the job.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'' would have Dungeon Master pop in OnceAnEpisode to dispense advice to the characters lost from our world.
* Miss Information from ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' would guide people through historic events and describe them, usually getting some details hilariously wrong and needing to be corrected.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' (as well as the comic) there's a character called Lord Simultaneous who holds the time scepter and generally manages time with his incompetent assistant Renet. He's even voiced like a New York tour guide, and has been key to helping our heroes out of time displacement related predicaments more than once (to the point of DeusExMachina). Read more [[ here]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' one can move between any body of water (and we do mean any. In series, a swimming pool counted, and in the Comics, a large pot for boiling water for laundry did the trick) and the shores Avalon by invoking the spell. However, returning back isn't so precise. Avalon will send you to the real world, but it's not going to be your original location, but somewhere random (body of water still applies) with some weirdness going on. It's implied through the repeated description of the process ("Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go, it sends you where you need to be") that there is some consciousness making the arrival choice. Like wise, it's random as to how long this keeps happening, but all three onscreen uses do eventually wind up in the correct location (Tom finding the rest of the Manhattan Clan, King Author returning to England (only to be transported to another location by other magic, and Goliath and crew getting back to Manhattan). Of course, "where you need to be" is still in effect, so that means weirdness is about to go down.